Yesterday's road race didn't turn out very well for anyone other than Gilbert. As was expected, Gilbert made the entire field look silly with his last lap attack on the Cauberg. He made a perfectly timed move that ended all talk of his imperfect season and rode away to perhaps the most important victory of his career. For the USA, we left feeling disappointed for sure. We put a great effort forth, but we came away empty handed. From the start, Lucas, Timmy, Alex, Brent, and I were covering every move that went. It was pretty awesome to be a part of it actually because we had such great chemistry going as far as helping each other out. We had a guy or a couple guys in almost everything. Finally after an hour, a successful move materialized, and we had Timmy and Alex in it.
Once the move was gone, it was a fairly normal race with Great Britain
taking initial charge of the field and setting a solid tempo. The gap
for the break never got too big because the pace in the field was pretty
vigorous. That pace began to take its toll as the laps/distance
accumulated. The structure of the race like a lollipop. We did about 100km before we entered a local circuit of 16km, which we did 10 times. The lap contained two small climbs, which over time
just took it out of people. Especially on the Cauberg, the steep pitches
and constant attacks as the laps wore on took a definite effect on the
field. I know for certain that my legs were protesting. Due to the
difficulty of the race, along with some crashes, the majority of our
team abandoned. Alex did an awesome job of being "last man standing"
from the early break. Also, Andrew made a gutsy move on the second
to last lap. He got away with one other rider, and they established a
nice gap, but the field was too motivated and strong to let it happen.
So in the end, a few guys finished, but the team walked away yearning
for more. Despite the disappointment, I think we're motivated for better
in the future, and we're building toward strong results in coming
years. We have a young squad with a ton of potential, and USA Cycling is
really rallying behind us to create better results in the future.